Chapter 26: Apologies
Hey guys so this update was later than expected but I accidentally deleted the chapter meant to be upload 😭😭. Fortunately I had a draft of it and a to rewrite this chapter. So I hope you all enjoy it although I'm not really pleased with it. This very long chapter is dedicated to all the lovely readers who voted, liked, shared and commented on my book. You're all amazing.
The tension in the air was suffocating. The silence, unbearable. Aunt Mariah's decision to have a family dinner after a funeral, was clearly not a good one. In the half an hour we had been here no one had spoken a word. The only sounds were knives and forks hitting against expensive silverware placed infront of us.
Tiredly sighing at the silence in the room, I decided to take a sip of my champagne as I observed the tired expressions on everyone's face as they lost themselves in their thoughts.
Thoughts that I could only assume were of my sister and her murder. A killer we had little to no clues to find.
Turning my gaze to the right of me I watched as Arthur absentmindedly cut a piece of his chicken with furrowed brows. His hands angrily sawing at the meat until his knife hit his plate with a loud click. But that didn't stop him from continuously moving back and forth. The scrapping sound unpleasant to the ear.
"Your Highness..." The maid at the corner of the room said as she kept her head down as she snapped Arthur out of his daze. Rapidly blinking his eyes he turned his attention to the young maid who had stopped him from making that awful sound. "Your Highness, would you like my assistance in cutting the meat?" She politely asked as she kept her head down. Her hands clasped infront of her. Waiting for her next orders.
Waving his hand dismissively. "There is no need for that. And next time do not speak unless your are asked to speak." Arthur said, his voice laced with warning.
Her eyes widened in fear as she quickly nodded. Her hands and voice trembling as she spoke. "Forgive my rudeness, your highness." Politely bowing her head and returning to her position as everyone continued to eat in silence. As if nothing had happened.
Shaking my head in disbelief at their lack of interest. I risked a glance at my sister as her burning gaze became unbearable to ignore. Gently smiling at her I watched as she continued to glare daggers at me as she took a bite of her chicken on her fork. Her now swollen cheek and what I assume was a forming bruise were covered with makeup. Turning my gaze away from my angry sister I looked at the head of the table as Aunt Maria placed her knife and fork down then lightly dabbing her napkin on her lips before she turned towards my father.
"Lord Edward, my family and myself would like to give our sincerest condolences to your family during this time. It was a tragic loss and we will leave no stone unturned to find the persons responsible for your daughter's death." Aunt Mariah started, her eyes softening in sadness. "And I know this is not the appropriate time for this discussion but I do believe there is a long-overdue apology that needs to be made to your family for all the embarrassment and trouble Marcus has caused you over the past few weeks." She continued as she rises from her seat. Everyone watching with wide eyes and lips parted in surprise as Aunt Mariah bowed towards my family. Her way of apologizing.
"And as a mother and close friend of the Northwest family I, Mariah Annabella Bennette Kingsley, Queen of Awa sincerely apologize on behalf of the crown prince, Prince Marcus Lucian Kingsley, my son, for his all the humiliation your family has faced due to his actions. It was never the intention of the Royal family to cause your family hany harm by changing the agreement made between the two households. The cancelling of his engagement to Scarlet should have been a matter discussed in private before the declaration of his future bride and Queen were to be made. I do hope you will accept my apology and this does not hinder our relationship with the Northwest family and our future cooperations with eachother." Queen Mariah finished as we silently listened to her apology. My admiration and respect for her growing even more. Aunt Mariah has always been a strong and kind-hearted ruler along with Uncle Damon. A woman who never bowed her head to others or showed weakness to her people.
A woman worthy of the crown she wears and yet here she was bowing her head to us and apologizing. Not as a mother alone but as a Queen. She's exactly what a Queen should be.
After listening to her words my father slowly nodded his head in acknowledgment as he gently placed his knife and fork on either side of his plate. Sitting straighter in his seat as hr addresses Queen Mariah who had just taken her seat. "Your majesty, while I do appreciate your condolences and sincerest apologies, I do believe that Prince Marcus should be the one apologizing to my eldest daughter for what he has done. She was the one wronged. As a man and soon to be King he should be able to take full responsibility for his actions. And not just his actions to Scarlet but Rebekah as well. But I would like to assume he has already made his peace with Rebekah. Seeing as he has chose her as his life partner. " My father said as he took a sip of the wine in his glass.
Uncle Damon humming in agreement as a serious expression took over his face. "Edward is right. And I do hope you have given Rebekah explanation and apology for your actions. So now you make your peace with the eldest daugther of Northwest family. You should have discussed the matter of your engagement with us before you made such an announcement. Your methods were uncalled for." Uncle Damon said sternly as Prince Marcus remained silent. It was clear that Uncle Damon had reached his limit with this topic. After all, it has been weeks since the incident occurred and the two families were yet to properly discuss the matter.
After a moment of thinking, Prince Marcus finally gave his input on the matter, "You are right, father. My method was too extreme and not befitting of a Crown Prince. I sincerely apologize to the Northwest family for my actions." He said before turning his gaze to scarlet.
"And as for you Scarlet, I do offer you my sincerest apologies for causing you such humiliation. And while we may have spent most of our lives together and preparing for the day we would be married and become the rulers of this kingdom, I did not wish for you to be my Queen. My interest and intent has always been to have Rebekah as my wife and Queen. And to clear past misunderstanding Rebekah was just as unaware of intentions as you were. And I know no amount of apology will undo the mistakes of the past or erase the humiliation you faced that night, but I do hope we can put the past behind us and move forward." He finished as Scarlet tightened her grip on her fork as she tried to control her expression.
"Thank you, Prince Marcus. I accept your apology. Here is to the future and happy beginnings." She said as shr raised her glass to him. A forced smile on her lips as she tried her best to keep her proper ladylike appearance.
But it was clear as day to me that she mean a word she spoken. She could never forgive him...
It's been approximately 10 minutes since I've left the dining room and I was beyond tired. Sighing in frustration I walked into my room and headed towards the bathroom. Taking off my shoes I quickly turned on the pipe at the sink and wet one of the soft towels resting on the counter. Taking the damp cloth I gently began to wipe the little makeup I had put on, off my face.
After a few minutes of gentle rubbing I finally Sighed in relief when my face was makeup free. Deciding that it was time to get some sleep I quickly changed into my nightwear before heading towards my bed. The need for sleep no longer bearable. The exhaustion of the day hitting me full force.
Climbing into the comfort of my bed I am disturbed by the familiar voice of Rachel seeking permission to enter my room. "Lady Rebekah, may I enter? I have an envelope from her majesty, the Queen. She said it's important."
Pinching the bridge of my nose and exhaling, I took a deep breath before replying, "You may enter!"
Pulling the soft covers over my legs I watched as Rachel quickly walked through the door in her neatly dressed maid outfit. Her hair tied into a perfect tight bun with her shoulders squared in confidence as she held a simple white envelope in her hand. She silently stood at the foot of the bed as she waited for me to say something.
"How may I help you, Rachel?" I asked with a small smile gracing my lips as she bowed her head in respect before replying, "Forgive the intrusion, my lady but Her Majesty, Queen Mariah, is aware it is late and you would like to get some rest, however, she would like your honest opinion on the design for the wedding invitation that needs to be sent to the neighboring kingdoms tomorrow morning. She also said to inform you that she had sent a copy of the invitation with the Head Butler a few days ago but due to certain events she was sure you hadn't received it. And she also said to inform you that she would have informed herself at dinner but she did not get the opportunity to bring it to your attention." Rachel recited aunt Mariah's message to me, as she placed the small white envelope with the Kingsley Crest in my hand.
Taking a deep breath I opened the envelope, taking out the delicate gold and red invitation and reading the perfectly written words scribbled on it.
Their Royal Highness's, King Damon Lucian Kingsley
and Queen Mariah Annabelle Bennett Kingsley
Request the pleasure of your company
At the Royal wedding of
The Crown Prince of Awa, Prince Marcus Lucian Kingsley
Lady Rebekah Amelia Northwest, youngest daughter of House Northwest
At the Grand Cathedral, North Hill Road,
on Saturday, May 15th at 1:00 pm Noon
Followed by a Reception in the Ballroom at the Kingsley Palace
It was simple yet sophisticated. An invitation I would have picked myself. But as I continued to look at the masterpiece in my hand I couldn't help but wonder if things were moving too fast. It was only hours after my sister was killed and buried and here I was curled up in my bed holding a wedding invitation. My invitation. For my wedding, that would be held in less than a few weeks. And not a single preparation was put on hold or a tear more shed. Was it alright to move on this quickly? Was it this easy for them to forget that Lizzy was murdered? That her killer could be walking amongst us. Laughing and chatting with us as if my sister wasn't dead. Was it alright to do this?
Narrowing my eyes at the card in my hand, I felt someone gently shake me, bringing me out of my depressing thoughts.
Snapping my head in the direction of Rachel's voice I put on my best smile. "I'm fine. There is no need to worry. You can go and inform her majesty that I have no complaints about the invitation. She can begin sending them to the guest who will be attending the wedding. And that I do not have anyone in particular to invite. She can send them to those she deems fit to attend. If that is all you may take your leave." I tiredly said as I tried to keep my eyes focused on Rachel. My blurry vision a reminder that I was in need of a good night's rest.
"As you wish, Princess. Have a good rest, my lady." Rachel said as hesitantly bowed, giving me one last look before walking towards my door and exiting my room. Waiting for the click of the door indicating that it was locked. I rested my head on my pillow with one thought in mind before the darkness of sleep could consume me.
Tomorrow will be a new day and a new me...
So I hope you all liked it 😅 but I have some news. The two other chapters that were meant to be uploaded with this chapter will be updated during the week. I've hit some bumps in the road with them and I want them to be good.
Thank you for all your support and giving this book a try. Please remember I'm in no way a professional writer and my english sucks😂😂
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